215. He said to him, Do you know something new that I am in want of knowing? He said to him, Speak. He said, I wish to understand the echo. A person sounds his voice in the field or in any other place. Another voice returns AFTER THAT and it is not known WHERE IT COMES FROM. He said to him, Oh, holy pious one. About this matter, many voices were raised and several concepts were placed in front of the head of the Yeshivah. When the head of the Yeshivah descended, he said, This is how they explained it in the heavenly Yeshivah, and it is a precious secret.
216. Come and see: There are three sounds that are never lost; besides the sounds of Torah and prayer that ascend above and split the firmaments, there are these other sounds that do not ascend and yet are not lost.
217. These are the three sounds: 1) The sound of a woman in labor, when she stands on a footstool, goes about and wanders in the air from one end to the other end of the world; 2) The sound of the person, when the soul escapes his body, loiters and wanders in the air from one end of the world to the other end, and 3) The sound of the snake, when it sheds his skin, loiters in the air and wanders around the world from one end to the other.
218. Oh, holy pious one, how great and important is this matter. What is produced by these sounds and whereto do they enter and dwell? These sounds are of pain. They roam and wander in the air and travel from one end of the world to the other, and enter into cracks and tunnels in the dust and lie hidden there. When a person sounds his voice, they are awakened toward that voice. ONLY the voice of the snake is not roused towards a human voice. How does it awaken then? By beating. That is, when a person beats AT SOMETHING, the sound of the snake that was hidden there, IN AN EMPTY PLACE OR IN THE FIELD, reverberates to the sound OF THAT BEATING, but not towards another HUMAN voice. A sound reverberates to a sound; HOWEVER, a kind goes after its own kind. THIS IS TO SAY THAT THE FIRST TWO SOUNDS, WHICH ARE OF HUMANS, ARE AWAKENED TOWARDS OTHER HUMAN SOUNDS, AND THE THIRD SOUND, WHICH IS OF THE SNAKE, AWAKEN TOWARD A BEATING SOUND.
219. Consequently, on the day of Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year), the sound of the Shofar awakens the sound of another Shofar, THE SECRET OF THE SOUND OF BINAH. One sort follows its own sort. The way of the snake tends to evil, to kill and to beat. Thus, in the voice of a real PERSON, no snake sound gets stirred. It only follows its own type and this happens when a person hits the ground with a stick, which is a sound that calls its kind. Then the sound of the snake awakens to answer its own type. And this is a hidden secret.
220. Rabbi Shimon said, Certainly this is a hidden matter. I wonder why King Solomon was not aware of this, SINCE HE SAID, "THERE ARE THREE THINGS...THE PATH OF A SNAKE UPON A ROCK" (MISHLEI 30:18-19). He said to him, King Solomon knew, but not that much. However, what he did not know was of that sound, what benefit it has and how it is settled.
221. The head of the Yeshivah said it this way. King Solomon did not know this subtle point, that the sound is composed of the Ruach, the Nefesh, the breath of the bones and the composition of the flesh. AND THE SOUND hovers in the air and each one OF THOSE THREE separated from each other. When THE SOUND reaches that place where it entered, it sits as if dead. All the wizards and magicians are aware of these areas with their witchcraft; they bend themselves to the ground and hear these sounds, to which the Ruach, Nefesh and breath of the bones connect. They inform them of the matters THAT THEY INQUIRE ABOUT, and this is: "A medium, out of the ground" (Yeshayah 29:4). That is why Solomon pursued the knowledge of what happens with this sound, but could not find out. Praised is your lot, Rabbi, that you have discerned a matter of truth.
222. When a person raises a sound, that sound is instantly awakened, OF THE WOMAN GIVING BIRTH OR OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE SOUL. It is not authorized to be longer, just EQUAL TO the sound that the person aroused and not more. If a person prolongs his voice, it does not extend its sound as much with him, but rather it gets roused at the end of the voice OF THE PERSON, since it is incapable of being prolonged. What is the reason? It is because when it first left him, it was extended from one end of the world to the other end of the world. Now that it has entered there, it cannot extend the sound any more, since there is no more room there to extend it as before.
223. Rabbi Shimon rejoiced and said, If I would have deserved to hear only this, it would have been sufficient to make me happy, since I managed to hear words of truth about that world. He said to him, Oh, holy pious one. If you would have known the rejoicing in these matters about that world in the presence of the head of the Yeshivah, you would have rejoiced even more.